Good news from RealtyTrac for a change: Foreclosures drop to five-year low in September

RealtyTrac’s September foreclosure numbers brought good news for the commercial real estate industry.

Commercial real estate pros received some good news from RealtyTrac — a rarity — when the online foreclosure company reported that U.S. foreclosure activity dropped to a five-year low in September.

This is important for the commercial real estate industry: Consumers don’t spend when they’re worried about losing their homes. And when consumers don’t spend? Our economy doesn’t work.

So the fewer foreclosures, the more confident consumers tend to be.

According to RealtyTrac, foreclosure filings were reported on 180,427 U.S. properties in September, a fall of 7 percent from August and 16 percent from September of 2011. September’s foreclosure total was the lowest since July of 2007.

In the Midwest, Michigan saw a big drop in foreclosure activity. However, Illinois and Ohio saw foreclosures rise.

Is September’s foreclosure plunge the start of a long-term trend? Let’s hope so. The commercial real estate industry could benefit from some confident consumers.

– Dan Rafter

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